The Supertheory of Super-Everything
I couldn’t find any synopsis of my “meaning of life” theory anywhere in my archives and while I hate repeating myself, I don’t want to lose track of it. It’s, as far as I’m concerned, one of the best things I’ve accomplished in my life so far, and I don’t want to just irreversibly “forget” about it one day.
So let’s begin, at the beginning.
When I was 14, I got sent to boarding school, where I spent 3 years before quitting school altogether. I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that it was an utter waste of time, at least regarding my grades. I failed at everything I did, mostly because I never tried not to. I had other things on my mind.
One thing boarding school gives you a lot of, is time. You are put in a hall, or your room, for what feels like ages per day, with nothing but a table and a chair.
Only distractions: Book knowledge I didn’t give a damn about, and writing gear. So I wrote. To my girlfriend. I wrote pages, books. Every single day I spent writing, only to her. On Tuesday I would send them, and on Thursday she would receive a stack of letters written over the week. Subject varied from personal issues, over dumb stories to borderline pornography, which got me in big trouble when caught, which in turn gave me plenty to write about.
Something inside me forbid me to study the material I was supposed to. Anything but that. But study I did, albeit other things.
By the second year, the subject matter changed. Ideas were forming and I began to wonder about things. As soon as my door closed, I began to reason and write down my train of thought, re-reading and continuing in a trance. Jumbled ideas at first, but after I hurriedly mapped all the things I was troubled with, I began to tackle them.
Who/What/Why is God?
What reason is there to believe in the supernatural?
What is life?
What is our life, and what does it contain?
What is the value of a life? (Triggered by Bro Hymn lyrics by Pennywise: “Life is the most precious thing you can lose.”)
And my big question:
What is the meaning of life?
Around that time I was following mechanics class, which included Newton’s, Descartes’ and such laws in its lessons. It began to dawn to me that mathematics weren’t just numbers to toy with. They were never invented; they were discovered. In the words of some mathematician, “Mathematics is the language in which God wrote the universe.” To discover mathematics is to find the very fabric of reality and map its thread. It is everywhere: In computer programs which is completely binary and thus pure math, but also in real things like the collision of particles, the orbiting of planets, in a car crash, and the changing weather. Events that we don’t have insight in is just math we haven’t yet discovered. It’s definitely there.
Another aspect about math that I realized is that it’s logic. In fact, it is logical reasoning in its purest form. One plus one equals two. 1+1=2. Right? And look: 1+1=2 it still is. It will always be. With sheep, with atoms, with people. Also, the he sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs of a right-angled triangle equals the area of the square on its hypotenuse (Pythagoras’ theorem). Always.
When events, no matter how complex, can be written down in mathematics, down to their every factor, they can be predicted flawlessly. Mathematics is logic, and logic is predictable. No exceptions.
We can see it in real life: Computer programs predict the weather days in advance. Not perfectly accurately, but that is because not all things are factored in. If you could make a computer that could factor in every single atom and every single influence, it will be able to predict the weather flawlessly.
In a broader sense: If you could make a computer that could factor in every single atom and every single influence in the universe, it will be able to predict it flawlessly.
The universe is retraceable to mathematics, and mathematics are logic and thus predictable. The universe is predictable. We are part of the universe. We are predictable. Our every action is set in stone. It’s as if a track is laid out for us, dictating our every move, and we have no choice but to follow it along like a cart on a rollercoaster, unable to stray.
Free will is an illusion because we can’t see the track ahead: We can’t see our future because we can’t possibly comprehend all the factors in it. Sometimes we can boil it down to the basics and predict what will happen – something called common sense. When an apple falls out of a tree, we know it will fall down because the only relevant factor is gravity. Logic. Predictive.
Try and imagine you’re sixteen again, and in your feverish writing you suddenly end a paragraph that goes: “…hence, our future is laid out for us and it doesn’t really matter if we “go through me motions” or not. Everything is set in stone and if it has a purpose, it is already reached and our existence is meaningless.” Period. Blank.
Nothing more to write. I re-read everything, even asked a few letters back, but I couldn’t come to any other conclusion: Our life is meaningless. Without purpose.
Maybe you can imagine, this kept me awake at night. Literally. I lost sleep from this, tossing and turning and straining my mind but not able to escape my conclusion. Free choice: an illusion. Our very lives: Without goal.
Why do the effort? Why even bother to breathe, if there’s no point to it? Every thing you look up to is a valid reason to overcome one’s will to live and end it, because ultimately, there’s simply no point to it. I was in crisis, I felt lost. Never before or after had I been struggling with my own self so much.
As another attempt of my father to better the situation we were in (he wasn’t even aware of all this) was to send me to a psychiatrist. I had seen about four of them come and go, and finally ended with a family therapist, the father of a good friend. When he asked how I felt about my stepmother, I shook my head. “No, let me tell you something else.”
I should ask him some time how it came across when I spilled. Everything just came pouring out; I knew it all by heart, by then. The ideas, the reasoning, and finally, the conclusion. All the while, he just sat and listened, which he was considerably better at than all the others put together. And another thing he was better at: He gave me an answer.
“Does it really matter if life has a purpose? If it turns out not to, you can always provide one for yourself. Then the question changes: It isn’t “What is the meaning of life,” but “What meaning can you give it?”
I sat in silence as I watched it fall in place. When I got back to boarding school the next day, I was so excited I could barely form a sentence.
Life has no meaning. It is empty, a void. A blank slate waiting to be filled.
Life has no meaning. Is there any better outcome? We are free, liberated from a responsibility, blessed with the illusion of free choice. The world is just there for us to grab and enjoy, no questions asked, no price demanded. Free to do as we please.
This extra step that changed the whole concept fundamentally, has changed this initially depressing, gruesome idea to the best thing that ever happened to my mind. After a little more thinking, it was easy to find the purpose I wanted to give it:
It’s the reason we fall in love. It’s the reason why we turn our faces to the sun. It’s what we strive for every waking moment, consciously or not.
And voila; I found it. The reason of life. The holy grail.
I can tell you, it didn’t shield me from negative thoughts or bad events. But every moment that others aimlessly spend wondering about their purpose, I spend wondering what I will do next to become a happier person. I really do believe that after 10 more years since, that has had a significant impact on my life. One that I am extremely thankful for.
I did write down a few little ideas based on this theory already, which can be found at the Continuation of the supertheory: prediction and its methods.
Further input is highly appreciated, whether it is criticism on the ideas or writing, new matching (or not) theories,… Whatever, really.